Ode To The Independent Craftsman

self-portrait by Jon Raasch I was looking at Yelp just now and I read a random review of Francis, where we’re about to go for brunch. I clicked through to the reviewer’s page and then on to his site, where I found this copy: Hi, my name’s Jon Raasch. I’m an independent web developer in […]

On the Surface It Looks Like Outsourcing

I need to get my head around around this. Ricola and other marketers are poking around inside these tubes looking for people with brand building ideas to compete against one another for $1000 in prize money. That’s correct, what we in the business charge many thousands of dollars for is now available on the Internet […]

Respect The Channel, Or Be Swept Out To Sea

“Social media.” Those two words on a lot of lips today. Gavin Heaton, writing on Servant of Chaos riffs on Gary Vaynerchuck: NOT engaging with your customers via social media creates opportunities for your competitors. And while you may not lose your whole market, you may well lose the high yield, low churn folks who […]

Content Is Omnipresent. Cash Is Not.

Once upon a time, JPG Magazine was a good idea. It was also a new idea. Derek Powazek and Heather Champ were all in, and the future looked bright. But things– as they are wont to do–changed. Derek and Heather walked away, the economy spun backwards on its axis and now JPG Magazine is folding. […]

Old School Spice

Old Spice has named Matthew Chancey from Ashville, Alabama its 2008 Art of Manliness Man of the Year. Chancey will receive the $2,000 cash prize from Old Spice along with a manly assortment of Old Spice products. Right now Matt’s in Africa working for his non-profit. His $2,000 prize will be going to Darfur to […]

Yelp Has Our Help

Saul Hansell writes in Bits that Yelp is succeeding in part because it puts citizen reviewers at the top of its list of constituencies to serve. This makes the site a poster child for user-centric design. Responding to criticism from business owners that some user reviews are unfair, Yelp also recently introduced a way for […]

A Citizen Clown Who Takes It To The House

Joel Moss Levinson has fashioned an occupation out of thin air. He enters consumer generated media contests sponsored by brands. And he wins them. Consistently. According to The New York Times, Levinson, a.k.a. “Happy Joel” has won more than $200,000 in cash, trips to Budapest, Buenos Aires and Copenhagen from Delta Air Lines; an iPod […]

Learning to Listen Is An Important First Step, But Learning to Act On the Info Provided Is The Critical Second Step

Pete Blackshaw, author of Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000′ is loving the cover article in the October issue of the Harvard Business Review. The article by Intuit’s founder, Scott Cook, argues for well conceived and managed customer contribution channels. Cook’s article is important because he’s taking our current debate over social […]

Al Gore Didn’t Invent The Internet, But “Internet TV” He Might Have A Claim To

I was watching Current on Comcast cable last night and was struck by the number of consumer generated spots the channel was serving. These ads even have their own acronym, VCAM, which stands for Viewer Created Ad Message. Here is Current’s pitch: We’ve teamed up with the world’s biggest brands and they want you to […]

Gaining Online Cred Is the Real Contest

Brands want to play in the social media sandbox. That much has been established. But what games are they playing? That topic needs a bit more exploration. Spike Jones of Brains of Fire suggests the “go to” game is a social media contest. He says it’s good in that contests promote interaction, participation and involvement. […]